Hot weather has arrived in Mt. Airy, and it’s time to drink more water. Staying hydrated is vital all year, but the heat of summer makes you sweat, so you need more to replace the water you lost. You can go without food for three weeks but only three or four days without water. Next to air, it’s the most vital element. Most people don’t drink enough water, but a few take hydration to a new level and overdo it. They drink too much water, which causes water intoxication. That causes problems with the body’s electrolyte balance and can end with kidney issues. External temperature plays a role when considering how much water to drink, but there are other factors.
All parts of the body are mostly water. The kidneys, brain, and muscles are 70% water. The lungs are over 83% water. Bodily fluid varies based on age, body size, physical build, and more. Fatty tissues, for instance, contain far less fluid than lean muscle tissue. If two people of the same gender and age weigh the same, but one has a higher ratio of muscle to fat, he or she will have a composition that contains more water and requires a higher water intake to maintain it. Activity level also plays a role. The more active you are, the more you sweat, increasing the need for water.
Gender differences and age make a difference.
If you compare the percentage of fluid in a newborn, with that of a senior, you’d notice a considerable difference. Newborn infants are approximately 75% fluid, while seniors range between 39% and 57%. Hormone levels make a difference in the amount of water you require. Women’s menstrual cycles cause the amount of fluid intake for women to vary. High levels of estrogen and progesterone occur during the menstrual cycle and more progesterone means lower blood fluid. Activity level, weight, and of course, outside temperature affects how much water you need to drink.
A loose formula based on body weight helps identify how much water you need.
You can find calculators that consider all factors to indicate the amount of water to drink, but even they don’t tell the whole story. You get some of your fluid from food. Watermelon, for instance, is a good source of fluid. To calculate water intake, use 2/3rds of your body weight to calculate the number of ounces. If you weigh 150 pounds, you need 100 ounces of water a day. Add more if you’re sweating heavily.
- Things that affect the amount of water necessary also include your health. If you’re running a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, replace the fluid. People at higher elevations also need more water.
- The simplest way to decide how much water to drink is by thirst. Your body is telling you to drink more water. If you don’t like plain water, consider infused water. Don’t turn to soft drinks that make you thirstier.
- Seniors often fail to get the dehydration message, and sometimes the symptoms are misinterpreted. It can resemble dementia and other types of illness.
- Mayo Clinic issued a generalization of the amount of fluid necessary. They noted that approximately 20% could come from food. They suggested 15.5 cups for men with 3 cups from food and 11.5 cups for women with 2 cups from food.
For more information, contact us today at Urban Athlete